Robert J. Bell currently serves as the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division. As the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Division, Mr. Bell oversees a staff of over 600 personnel including Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Intelligence Analysts, Task Force Officers, Professional Staff, and Contractors in 10 offices. Mr. Bell manages the investigative and enforcement strategies of the Chicago Division, which are directed at transnational criminal organizations, as well as violent gangs involved in drug trafficking. Mr. Bell has oversight responsibility for drug enforcement operations in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin with a population of over 25 million.
From 2017-2019, Mr. Bell served as Associate Special Agent in Charge to the Chicago Division, where he shared executive leadership and oversight responsibilities over all aspects of the Division.
From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Bell served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Milwaukee District Office with operational and programmatic leadership and oversight of the Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay Field Offices.
While assigned to DEA Headquarters from 2011 through 2015, Mr. Bell worked in the Office of Diversion Control, Synthetic Drugs and Chemicals Section, implementing initiatives and developing strategies to combat the synthetic designer drug threat, as well the diversion of Listed Chemicals used to illicitly manufacture controlled substances. In 2013, he was promoted to Section Chief in the DEA Office of Operations Management, Asset Forfeiture Section. In this position, Mr. Bell led and oversaw the Asset Forfeiture Program and served as the DEA point-of-contact to the U.S. Department of Justice Money Laundering Asset Recovery Section and the Asset Forfeiture Management Staff. In 2014, he was re-assigned to Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Operations, Office of Operations Management.
Mr. Bell joined DEA as a Special Agent in 1995, hiring on in the Chicago Division. Mr. Bell was initially assigned to the DEA Detroit Division Office, where he worked as a field Special Agent until he was promoted to a Supervisory Special Agent position at the DEA Milwaukee District Office in 2006. During this time, he led a Task Force Group comprised of DEA Special Agents and deputized State and Local Officers.
Mr. Bell earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Sciences from Illinois State University in 1989. He began his law enforcement career as a Police Officer with the St. Charles (Illinois) Police Department in 1990. In 1993, he was assigned to an Illinois State Police multi-jurisdictional drug task force, where he served until beginning his career with DEA.
Mr. Bell currently resides in the Chicago area.